FHP: Distracted driving crashes on the rise

Published: Apr. 9, 2021 at 8:36 PM CDT
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If you’ve ever had to wait at a green light for someone in front of you to go, you’re not alone.

“Typically you see them at stoplights playing around on their phone, the light turns green, and you have to wail on the horn to get their attention,” said driver Patrick Owen.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, texting while driving incidents are going up, along with crashes.

This April, FHP is trying to educate drivers on the dangers of distracted driving.

They’re also stepping up enforcement.

“There are so many distractions this day and time that can take our attention away from the roadway and our cars are so comfortable now it’s a little bit easier to have these distractions now than it was before,” said Florida Highway Patrol lieutenant Jason King.

In 2020, there were almost 50,000 crashes involving distracted drivers.

Nearly 300 people died in a distracted driving accident.

Overall, crashes have gone up by 33% since 2014.

King said we should always be focused on driving.

“We’re definitely asking not only this month, this month is our awareness, but for the remainder of our life and this year, let’s focus on distracted driving and reducing it,” said King.

He adds it’s not just texting that can be distracting, but also other people in the car, changing the radio, and eating.

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